https://www.hcancerbarretos.com.br/institucional/eventos/week.listevents/2014/05/19/97 What a windy week. The garden had the usual suspects with the goldfinch and siskin flocks still large but numbers have dropped a bit in the last few days, could it be the wind.
On Saturday we went to Slimbridge to the Hide opening with James Lees. Unfortunately it was very windy. He delayed the morning swan feed for us to see. Wow! Fantastic views of the Great and Lesser Scaups. Loads of ducks, swans and geese on the reserve. Good numbers of lapwing and Golden Plover too. On the South Lake James pointed out that one of the Cormorants was different and was the sinensis sub- species. Also a Great Crested Grebe was floating around.
On the way back we called in Wentwood to try and see the Great Grey Shrike. We couldn’t find the right place so headed home. We decided to take a different road out and drove down a narrow lane past the reservoir. Bec yelled stop it can’t be, leapt out of the car (a la the Gambia) and went “A Mandarin”. The ducks then flew. We drove down a bit further and managed to get the car in the entrance to the reservoir, off the road enough to let people past, and had a look. In front of us was a Goldeneye – a lifer. We then searched through the ducks on the far side of the reservoir and there was a male Mandarin – another lifer. What a lucky stop.
On Sunday we decided to go back and try to see the Great Grey Shrike. I had found out where it was meant to be on the web so we parked up and walked down to the felled area. It was blowing a gale and raining and no one was there, hmmm. The area was rather large and we started searching (hoping we were in the right place!). After about 5 minutes (beginning to think it was impossible) I noticed a grey speck in tree at the far end of the area. Getting the scope on it reveales… the Great Grey Shrike. Lifer! It flew out into the open and gave us some very good views. Some people turned up and we were able to show them it. It then flew over our heads and went into the trees behind us and disappeared. Time for home!
Count so far for the year now up to 88.
The Great Grey Shrike took us up to a UK life list of 140.